Scientists have been left puzzled by a mystery brain disease which has killed six patients.
One symptom of the unknown condition is seeing the dead, which is plaguing almost 50 people from the small province in Canada.
The disease has become known as Neurological Syndrome of Unknown Etiology (NSUE).
A neurologist described the mystery condition affecting residents of New Brunswick in Canada, as a medical “whodunit” that only occurs once or twice a century.
Despite the first patient suffering from the illness as early as 2015, it was only made public by a leak in March of a memo penned by New Brunswick’s senior medical doctor, ScienceTimes reports.
Symptoms have included seeing images of the dead, insomnia, poor motor function and visual problems.
At least 48 people ranging from 18 to 84 in the Canadian province are known to have been affected by NSUE, according to WGME.
One of them is Gabrielle Cormier, 20, who was a competitive figure skater with dreams of becoming a pathologist.
Symptoms of tiredness, hallucinating television static, bumping into things, memory lapses, and involuntary jerking motions have forced Gabrielle to use a walking stick.
Gabrielle told The New York Times: “I was just starting what is supposed to be the best chapter of your life, and then it disappeared. I don’t know if I will die or live out the rest of my life with these symptoms.”
Conspiracy theories now surround theories on what is causing NSUE, as residents in the area fear contracting the deadly disease.
Everything from mobile phone towers to Covid-19 vaccinations and fracking have been blamed.
Yvon Godin, the mayor of Bertrand, New Brunswick, said in The New York Times report: “People are alarmed. They are asking: ‘Is it environmental? Is it genetic? Is it fish or deer meat? Is it something else?’ Everyone wants answers.”
Doctors examining the sickness cannot agree whether NSUE is a new disease or an unidentified old, ScienceTimes says
According to Sputnik News, Dr. Alier Marrero, who saw the first known case of the disease, tests on patients revealed brain atrophy and neurological dysfunction. But no conclusive diagnosis was made.
It has been suggested that the toxin BMAA is causing NSUE, created by blue-green algae. Exposure to germs, fungi, and domoic acid, a neurotoxin found in shellfish, are among the other explanations.
After speaking with other top scientists, Dr Marrero said: “It was not something we have seen before.”